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30-09-2017

Market Info more info less info

Below the final results of the test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts – crop 2017, together with those of the past 5 years :

Bintje 35/+

2012 – week 37 : 40,3 tons/ha net weight with 44 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013 – week 37 : 48,3 tons/ha net weight with 74 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014 – week 37 : 56,4 tons/ha net weight with 67 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 – week 39 : 49,4 tons/ha net weight with 61 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2016 – week 37 : 41,5 tons/ha net weight with 55 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2017 – week 39 : 48,8 tons/ha net weight with 68 % in ‘50 MM/+’

(Dry matter : 19,6 %)

 

Fontane 35/+

2012 – week 37 : 45,4 tons/ha net weight with 63 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013 – week 37 : 52,7 tons/ha net weight with 77 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014 – week 37 : 61,0 tons/ha net weight with 86 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 – week 39 : 51,8 tons/ha net weight with 80 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2016 – week 37 : 48,4 tons/ha net weight with 69 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2017 – week 39 : 62,0 tons/ha net weight with 91 % in ‘50 MM/+’

(Dry matter : 20,3 %)

* Net weight = Gross weight – 15 %

 

Remarks

* Glassy tubers in almost all ‘Bintje’ fields . Dry matter in ‘Bintje’ often insufficient.

* Quality of ‘Fontane’ close to perfection.

* Not only an increase of the average yield, but also of the potato surface in the EU-5 (+ 5 %) à 2017 gives us a looooooooooot of potatoes !

28-08-2017

Market Info more info less info

Every year during week 34, we do test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts. Below are our results, together with those of the past 5 years :

Bintje 35/+

2012 : 38,1 tons/ha net weight with 39 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013 : 44,1 tons/ha net weight with 69 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014 : 52,5 tons/ha net weight with 68 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 : 42,0 tons/ha net weight with 53 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2016 : 40,5 tons/ha net weight with 55 % in ‘50 MM/+’

 2017 : 41,9 tons/ha net weight with 59 % in ‘50 MM/+’

(Dry matter : 19,2 %)

Fontane 35/+

2012 : 40,6 tons/ha net weight with 57 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013 : 44,1 tons/ha net weight with 76 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014 : 59,2 tons/ha net weight with 84 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 : 40,5 tons/ha net weight with 75 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2016 : 42,3 tons/ha net weight with 61 % in ‘50 MM/+’

 2017 : 51,1 tons/ha net weight with 86 % in ‘50 MM/+’

(Dry matter : 20,5 %)

 * Net weight = Gross weight – 15 %

 Remarks

* Second growth in almost all ‘Bintje’ fields – negligible in ‘Fontane’.

* Still a lot of growth potential in 90 % of the fields.

* Our next test liftings will be taken at the end of week 37. The results will be published on 18 Sept.

27-12-2016

Potato company Bruwier: “Price for processing varieties will not fluctuate much till spring” more info less info

Jan van Luchene of Bruwier Potatoes, a Belgian company specialized in acquiring and delivering the potatoes you need offers his view of the current potato market in Belgium and Europe.

Jan van Luchene, Bruwier Potatoes:

"Good prices are currently given on the potato market, and I do not expect that will change soon. The high prices could persist until spring for industry strains in particular."

"It might be different for the fresh market, but the price for processing varieties will probably not decrease soon."


Fresh versus industry

According to Van Luchene, there are many stories about the possible shortage of potatoes.

Jan van Luchene:

"Cultivators consider these stories when selling the potatoes."

He indicates that the situation is remarkable.

Jan van Luchene:

"You often see prices on the fresh market that are higher than those on the industry market, but demand on the fresh market is very low right now. Consumption strains for the fresh market are currently selling cheaper."

This is caused by a combination of factors.

Jan van Luchene:

"First of all, demand is low, and besides, the strains concerned are meant just for the fresh market, and not the industry market. Demand from industry is somewhat better, but before potato farmers can supply that market, they first have to make sure they can meet all of their contractual volumes."

"Because of the low yields of this season, that is no sinecure for every cultivator."

"Many have contracted more than they harvested. Those people will not be happy."


Prospect

Planting the new harvest early or late will also become a deciding factor, according to Van Luchene.

Jan van Luchene:

"I do not see the market changing until then. Imagine if we have a late spring, we will certainly keep those 25 euro at least. It could possible even increase."

"If we have a regular planting date, it will be more difficult to predict. I would not feel comfortable saying it will all be all right."


World upside down

There is also import from other countries right now.

Jan van Luchene:

"Potatoes arrive from Germany, the UK and Poland. Industry is not standing still, they are looking for solutions, and get their products elsewhere. The harvest in Western Europe was bad in general, but good in Eastern Europe. But they have less money for it."

"It truly is an upside down world this year: instead of west to east, we go from east to west this year. The primary reason for this is the price ratio."


Hardly any export

In October’s Primeur, Van Luchene said he did not expect a busy free market early in the season.

Jan van Luchene:

"And that has come true. Demand is disappointing. There is hardly any export because we are too expensive, and we are also offering a product with lesser quality for that money."

"The price is very high compared to other European regions, so something will have to happen in order to get rid of the expensive export strains. It is already happening that cultivators who had high prices last month, have already lowered those prices in order to so something."

"They can feel it is going to be more difficult than expected. It is still a lot of money that they receive, but it is not the industry price."

Source: 

AGF Nieuws / FreshPlaza / Bruwier Potatoes

19-09-2016

Market Info more info less info

Every year during week 37, we do test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts. Below are our results, together with those of the past 5 years :

Bintje 35/+

2011               :           54,9 tons/ha net weight     with    81 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012               :           40,3 tons/ha net weight     with    44 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013               :           48,3 tons/ha net weight     with    74 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014               :           56,4 tons/ha net weight     with    67 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 – Wk 37:          51,2 tons/ha net weight     with    66 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 – Wk 39:          49,4 tons/ha net weight     with    61 % in ‘50 MM/+’

 

2016               :           41,5 tons/ha net weight   with    55 % in ‘50 MM/+’

                                                (Dry matter : 21,5 %)

Fontane 35/+

2011               :           60,0 tons/ha net weight     with    93 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012               :           45,4 tons/ha net weight     with    63 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013               :           52,7 tons/ha net weight     with    77 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014               :           61,0 tons/ha net weight     with    86 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 – Wk 37:          47,9 tons/ha net weight     with    81 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 – Wk 39:          51,8 tons/ha net weight     with    80 % in ‘50 MM/+’

 

2016               :           48,4 tons/ha net weight   with    69 % in ‘50 MM/+’

                                    (Dry matter : 24,3 %)

* Net weight = Gross weight – 15 %

Remarks

* Percentage of waste (growth cracks and misshapen) in Fontane a lot higher than in normal years ; situation with Bintje quite normal.

* As we don’t expect any additional growth, these are our final results for the 2016 crop.

29-08-2016

Market Info more info less info

Market Info – 29 August 2016 :

Every year during week 34, we do test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts. Below are our results, together with those of the past 5 years :

Bintje 35/+

2011   :           51,0 tons/ha net weight     with    79 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012   :           38,1 tons/ha net weight     with    39 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013   :           44,1 tons/ha net weight     with    69 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014   :           52,5 tons/ha net weight     with    68 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015   :           42,0 tons/ha net weight     with    53 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2016   :           40,5 tons/ha net weight   with    55 % in ‘50 MM/+’

                        (Dry matter : 21,3 %)

Fontane 35/+

2011   :           58,2 tons/ha net weight     with    91 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012   :           40,6 tons/ha net weight     with    57 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013   :           44,1 tons/ha net weight     with    76 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014   :           59,2 tons/ha net weight     with    84 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015   :           40,5 tons/ha net weight     with    75 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2016   :           42,3 tons/ha net weight   with    61 % in ‘50 MM/+’

                        (Dry matter : 23,2 %)

* Net weight = Gross weight – 15 %

Remarks

* Percentage of waste (growth cracks and misshapen) higher than in normal years + clearly higher in Fontane than in Bintje.

* Senescence more advanced in Bintje than in Fontane. Due to the lack of rain in recent days small chance of important additional growth in September.

Our next test liftings will be taken during week 37. The results will be published on 19/09.

28-09-2015

Market Info more info less info

Below, you can find the new and final results of the test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts, taken during week 39 :

Bintje 35/+

2010 : 49,3 tons/ha net weight with 56 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2011 : 54,9 tons/ha net weight with 81 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2012 : 40,3 tons/ha net weight with 44 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2013 : 48,3 tons/ha net weight with 74 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2014 : 56,4 tons/ha net weight with 67 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2015 : 49,4 tons/ha net weight with 61 % in ‘50 MM/+’

Fontane 35/+

2010 : 51,7 tons/ha net weight with 82 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2011 : 60,0 tons/ha net weight with 91 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2012 : 45,4 tons/ha net weight with 57 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2013 : 52,7 tons/ha net weight with 76 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2014 : 61,0 tons/ha net weight with 84 % in ‘50 MM/+’ (figures week 37!)

2015 : 54,1 tons/ha net weight with 83 % in ‘50 MM/+’

* Net weight = Gross weight – 15 %

14-09-2015

Market Info more info less info

After 3 weeks, we once more did test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts during week 37. Below are our results, together with those of the past 5 years :

Bintje 35/+

2010 : 49,3 tons/ha net weight with 56 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2011 : 54,9 tons/ha net weight with 81 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012 : 40,3 tons/ha net weight with 44 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013 : 48,3 tons/ha net weight with 74 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014 : 56,4 tons/ha net weight with 67 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 : 51,2 tons/ha net weight with 66 % in ‘50 MM/+’

(+ 9,2 tons in the last 20 days)

 

Fontane 35/+

2010 : 51,7 tons/ha net weight with 82 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2011 : 60,0 tons/ha net weight with 91 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012 : 45,4 tons/ha net weight with 57 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013 : 52,7 tons/ha net weight with 76 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014 : 61,0 tons/ha net weight with 84 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015 : 49,8 tons/ha net weight with 75 % in ‘50 MM/+’

(+ 9,3 tons in the last 20 days)

* Net weight = Gross weight – 15 %

 

Our Bintje results unchangedly continue to show higher yields than those of Fontane. The main reasons for this remain the same :

 * Bintje plants carry considerably more tubers than Fontane plants.

* Due to the adverse growing conditions all through spring and summer, the quality and the structure of the field + the amount of rain are very likely to be more determining factors than the variety itself.

 

In 2 weeks from now, we’ll put our new and final results online on our website.

 

26-08-2015

Market info more info less info

Every year during week 34, we do test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts. Below are our results, together with those of the past 5 years :

Bintje 35/+

2010   :           39,6 tons/ha net weight     with    49 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2011   :           51,0 tons/ha net weight     with    79 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012   :           38,1 tons/ha net weight     with    39 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013   :           44,1 tons/ha net weight     with    69 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014   :           52,5 tons/ha net weight     with    68 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015   :           42,0 tons/ha net weight   with    53 % in ‘50 MM/+’

                        (+ 12,3 tons in the last 19 days)

 

Fontane 35/+

2010   :           44,8 tons/ha net weight     with    82 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2011   :           58,2 tons/ha net weight     with    91 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012   :           40,6 tons/ha net weight     with    57 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013   :           44,1 tons/ha net weight     with    76 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014   :           59,2 tons/ha net weight     with    84 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2015   :           40,5 tons/ha net weight   with    75 % in ‘50 MM/+’

                        (+ 9,3 tons in the last 19 days)

* Net weight = Gross weight – 15 %

 

Surprisingly, our Bintje results momentarily give a higher yield than those of Fontane, due to a number of reasons :

* Bintje plants carry considerably more tubers than Fontane plants.

* A few fields of Bintje give a yield over 55 tons, pushing the average figure up.

* A few fields of Fontane give a yield of 30 tons or even less, pushing the average figure down.

* Due to the adverse growing conditions all through spring and summer, the quality and the structure of the field + the amount of rain are very likely to be more determining factors than the variety itself.

26-09-2014

Market Info more info less info

 

Below are the new and final results of the test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts, together with those of the past 4 years :

Bintje 35/+

2010   :           49,3 tons/ha net weight     with    56 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2011   :           54,9 tons/ha net weight     with    81 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012   :           40,3 tons/ha net weight     with    44 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013   :           48,3 tons/ha net weight     with    74 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014   :           56,4 tons/ha net weight   with    67 % in ‘50 MM/+’

Fontane 35/+

2010   :           51,7 tons/ha net weight     with    85 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2011   :           60,0 tons/ha net weight     with    93 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2012   :           45,4 tons/ha net weight     with    63 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2013   :           52,7 tons/ha net weight     with    77 % in ‘50 MM/+’

2014   :           61,0 tons/ha net weight   with    86 % in ‘50 MM/+’

* Net weight = Gross weight – 15 %

The conclusion is the same as in August : there is clearly more tonnage under the ground than in the past years. In all probability even too much, considering that the EU-5 acreage also increased by 3 % !

Since our last market report, the European record crop pushed prices further down. Today, the official Belgapom-quotation stands at 15 €/ton. One cold comfort : we can’t go down much more.

29-08-2014

Market info more info less info

Just like every other year in week 35, we did test liftings of our ‘Bintje’- and ‘Fontane’-contracts. These are our results, together with those of the past 4 years :

Bintje 35/+

2010   :           39,6 tons/ha net weight

2011   :           51,0 tons/ha net weight

2012   :           38,1 tons/ha net weight

2013   :           44,1 tons/ha net weight

2014   :           52,5 tons/ha net weight

Fontane 35/+

2010   :           44,8 tons/ha net weight

2011   :           58,2 tons/ha net weight

2012   :           40,6 tons/ha net weight

2013   :           44,1 tons/ha net weight

2014   :           59,2 tons/ha net weight

There is clearly more tonnage under the ground than in the past years. Taking the considerable acreage increase in Western Europe into account (Belgium & France : + 6 % !!), we’re heading for a very large European potato crop – or maybe even too large a crop. In Germany, the biggest potato production since 2004 is being anticipated. France is even facing the biggest crop ever.

Record crops give extremely low pricing. Today, the official Belgapom-quotation stands at a miserable 25 €/ton. Without any hope for improvement.

11-07-2014

Market Info more info less info

Until today, growing circumstances for potatoes in Western Europe have been splendid all through the season. An early spring, temperatures above average and regular rainfall made this year’s crop ready to use earlier than normal : positive for tonnages but damaging for the potato market, which even today still has to undo itself from old crop and Mediterranean earlies. The 1st official Belgapom-quotation of this season stands at only 5,00 €/100 kg, historically low for the start of a new potato year.

Compared to 2013, the acreage increase for the EU-5 is estimated to be around 3 %. Per country, the expansion is as follows :

Belgium         :           + 6,5 %

France           :           + 3,5 %

Netherlands   :           + 3,5 %

Germany       :           + 3 %

UK                :           - 2 %

If no accidents occur, the surface increase and the constantly favorable weather will lead to a (too ?) large crop 2014. Price expectations for the coming campaign are therefore very meager.

22-11-2013

Everybody is being sucked in by the growing potato industry more info less info

Jan van Luchene, Bruwier Potatoes
"Everybody is being sucked in by the growing potato industry"

Bruwier Potatoes has been located in Waregem, Belgium, since 1996 and active in the potato sector since the 50's. 17 years ago they decided to restart with just a trading office. "In Western Europe in 1996 there were clearly too many sorting companies so the decision was made to not jump into the sorting sector, and that's a decision we have not regretted for a moment. We started with nothing and today have a turnover of 45 to 50.000 tons," explained Jan van Luchene, owner of Bruwier Potatoes. "We have specialised for years in supplying potatoes to the processing industry and export market. We were originally an export company and didn't supply much to processing but slowly that has changed with the evolution of our sector."



Mainly industry

"We strive to convey an image of accuracy and reliability to growers when handling a deal and payment and I think that is what has helped us to continue growing. When we contract a grower we do not want to lose him through our manner of working. We want it to work well on both sides and that trust is valued by growers. Growth does differ per year. Naturally you want to grow, but that is not the case every year and depends on the harvest. The turnover in our branch doesn't always tell the full story. From a tonnage of 50,000, 35,000 is destined for processing. The remainder is export, but the export destinations change from year to year, dependant on successful or failed harvest and underlying prices. For example, take the Czech republic, we have delivered there for the last five seasons, but it is not a fixed line."

Industry
"Deliveries to processing grow every year. Belgium has really become industrialised and in the next decade I expect that to only increase. We, at Bruwier, have hung our cart on the processing industry and they have pulled us along. Everybody is pulled in by the growth in the Belgian potato industry. The only thing that hinders growth in processing is contract work. A large part of the sales contract is already fixed for the season. For both the factory and the grower contracts provide a guarantee, but for us traders, sat in between it is another matter, and not without risk because of the duty of delivery. If a crop fails it can be very expensive to go shopping and that makes things difficult." This aspect only hinders Jan a little at Bruwier Potatoes. "It is our deliberate choice to limit tonnage contracts with processing. It is purely a risk consideration. If our customers want to close more contracts with us at a fixed price, we do not say no, but there will be other requirements. There are no solid plans but the raw materials are there for growth, so what is not possible today may well be possible tomorrow."


The team from Bruwier

"The use of fresh potatoes decreases every year and the processing section rises. We have followed this evolution," explained John. "We used to talk of shipments to Tunisia and Algeria, which came back every year, but that is no longer the case. The last decade has evolved and I see that continuing further. The whole sector has followed. For example, you see the contract prices getting better every year because more product is required by the sector for growth so people want to keep it interesting so the grower continues to supply potatoes."



No threat
Is it a concern that the processing industry is increasing? "No, not for us. The situation 7 or 8 years ago as a trader was much more uncertain. This was due to the tendency for the processor to go directly to the grower and the trade was pushed aside. Every trader will then have been questioning their business. Whereas now, because of the greater need this doesn't always happen through just the grower or trader. It is a one on one story and that will not change in the future. In many cases growers prefer to work with the trade. If there is a quality problem, the trader will seek and find an alternative solution. For processors it's not that simple." 

Export
"It is difficult to say how the season is going to run. There has been a lot of talk about a possible shortage and big prices, but I attach little credence to this. We see what is has come out of the ground and that is better than everybody expected. In September there was a serious growth spurt but everyone only seems to be thinking about the Summer figures and not considering September. There is a tendency for growers to give market information and I understand that, but they should give the right information and that does not always happen." For this season Jan expects several small customers for exports. "I don't expect to have any really large customers in between. What I do find dangerous about this season is that many believe there will be better prices in the New Year. There are potatoes in storage in West Europe and I think that few will be made available before the end of the calendar year. The packet is the same but the time is shorter. We exported some to Central Europe but not everything was taken. A portion was taken by our customers and put into refrigerated warehouses and will only be sold here when the market is better. That is perhaps more dangerous."
08-10-2013

Market Info more info less info

As predicted in our last market info, our last ‘Bintje’ test liftings in Belgium of 19 & 20 september approached 50 tons per hectare (net weight, 15 % tare) and continue to be better than in the last 2 years with disappointing production :

                                  Crop 2013                 Crop 2012                 Crop 2010

‘Bintje 35/+’                49,8 tons                   40,8 tons                   49,7 tons

‘Fontane 35/+’             54,2 tons                   45,9 tons                   52,1 tons

Size (50 MM/+) then stood at 75 % for Bintje and 78 % for Fontane. Plants were still a bit green and will have gained an additional bit of weight since then. Furthermore, potatoes show very little waste this year and dry matters are high. This season’s crop will offer very little loss to the industry when processed.

Apart from Belgium, also Ireland, the U.K. and France are heading for a crop which is bigger than last season’s. In the Netherlands, the total yield which was long thought to be smaller than last year’s eventually turns out to be a crop 5 % bigger than in 2012. Spain maintains the status quo.

In the middle of Europe, from north to south, there is a whole series of countries where total production will be lower than last year : Sweden – Finland – Lithuania – Poland – Czechia – Hungary – Italy – Romania – Bulgaria. Their drop in total production is predominantly due to an acreage decline. However, figures from some of these countries have to be taken with some reservations. Furthermore, the fall in Polish production mainly concerns potatoes which were intended for animal feed ; the part for human consumption stays relatively stable. The biggest “victims” are Germany (- 13 %, mainly in varieties for the fresh market) and Switzerland (- 30 %).

Just like last year, producers expect prices to be higher later in the season and will give very little offer in October and November. The official Belgapom-quotation is at 12,50 €/100 kg already for some weeks now, but could very well go up in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, we do not believe in the forecasted prices of 20 €/100 kg and more for this year, but more in a market fluctuating between 10 and 15 €/100 kg.

 

29-08-2013

Market info more info less info

Since our last market info of one month ago, new and more accurate acreage figures have again been published. For the EU-5, the acreage increase is now estimated to be around 2 %. For the 28 countries of the EU as a whole, the areal would go down by some 2,2 %. Per country, the expansion is now as follows :

Germany       :           - 0,2 %

Belgium         :           + 10,6 %

Netherlands   :           + 3,2 %

France           :           + 4 %

UK                 :           + 1 %

Poland           :           - 5 %

EU-28           :           - 2,2 %

The cold and wet spring caused a delay of the crops of about 2 to 3 weeks. The hot month of July and the dry month of August also didn’t offer good circumstances for an optimal production. As a consequence, crops never managed to do some catching-up. In general, Europe expects total production to be around or slightly below the average of the last 10 years.

In July and August, Belgium and northern France received most of the rain in Western Europe. Our own test liftings in Belgium of 20 & 21 August showed that yields were better than in the last 2 years with disappointing production :

                                   Crop 2013                 Crop 2012                 Crop 2010

‘Bintje 35/+’              44,1 tons                   38,1 tons                   39,6 tons

‘Fontane 35/+’         44,1 tons                   40,6 tons                   44,8 tons

Also in size (50/+), our results were already very satisfactory : 69 % in Bintje and 76 % in Fontane. Plants still showed quite some potential and after the 20 mm of rain in the weekend of 25 August, potatoes will surely have gained quite a bit more weight. Our next test liftings of week 37 will undoubtedly give us yield figures of around 50 tons. Belgium is heading for a crop which will be better, both in yield and in size, than in our neighbouring countries.

It is still a bit early for a reliable price forecast for this season, but given the figures in the previous paragraph, we do not believe in prices around 20 €/100 kg for this year.

 

10-07-2013

Market information more info less info

Since our last market info, new and more accurate acreage figures have been published. For the EU-5, the acreage increase is still estimated to be around 4 %. Per country, the expansion is as follows :

Germany       :           + 1 %

Belgium         :           + 10 %

Netherlands   :           + 5,6 %

France           :           + 3 %

UK                :           - 0,5 %

 

The figure for France still only refers to storage potatoes. In Poland, the potato acreage would shrink by some 5 %, but this only concerns potatoes for stock feed. The area of potatoes for human consumption remains unchanged.

After the abundant rainfall, Western Europe now has 2 weeks of dry and sunny weather. Tuber growth will progress rapidly now.

Our next update is scheduled for around 15 August.

 

21-06-2013

Market informartion more info less info

The current potato season 2012/2013 is as good as finished and that is why there is no more official ‘Belgapom’-quotation since last week. From now on, the full focus can go on the new season.

For the EU-5, the acreage increase is estimated to be around 4 %. Per country, the expansion is as follows :

Germany       :        + 1 %

Belgium         :       + 10 %

Netherlands   :        + 3 %

France           :        + 3 %

UK                 :       + 2,5 %

The area increase in Germany may already have been brought to nought because of the damage caused by the abundant rainfall and inundations. The figure for France only refers to storage potatoes.

The considerable increase in Belgium is the result on the one side of the high prices of the ending season and on the other side of the significantly improved contract conditions for the coming season. If the figure is correct, it means that the Belgian potato producer has planted even more than in 2011, a record (and cheap) year.

After 2 weeks of dry and sunny weather, Western Europe received sufficient rain in recent days, which will put growth at cruising speed. Today, potato field conditions are excellent.

 

14-05-2013

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Because of winter lasting much longer than normal, plantings of the 2013 early crop in Western Europe fell behind by some 3 weeks, prolonging the current 2012/2013 season by a few weeks and having an upward effect on prices. In the 1st half of April, the official ‘Belgapom’-quotation went up from 20,00 €/100 kg to 25,00 €/100 kg and has been staying at this level until today. Given the very small remaining stocks of potatoes in Europe, we expect prices to maintain this level in the remainder of the season.

In the meantime, all 2013 crop potatoes have been planted. Planting conditions were very good, the soil structure is good and if in the coming weeks, we can have a bit of rainfall, the start for the main crop can be regarded as OK.

The first cautious acreage estimates show an increase in Belgium (5 %), France (2 %) and the Netherlands (1,5 %). In Germany, a slight acreage cutback (- 1,5 %)  is expected. Nevertheless, these figures are still quite premature.

To be continued …

 

28-03-2013

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Since our last market report, the demand for potatoes staid unchanged very poor and the official ‘Belgapom’-quotation fell back from 20,00 €/100 kg to 17,50 €/100 kg in these last 5 weeks.

Quo vadis, potato market ?

As a really good demand for potatoes fails to appear for 5 months now and as there are no signs of improvement to this situation, we tend to think that the market cannot  hold this for much longer and that prices will continue to go down gradually …

But the remaining quantity of potatoes in Europe is historically small, therefore we tend to think that prices may well stabilize at the current level …

Winter persists however and plantings of the 2013 early crop in Western Europe start to have a considerable delay. As a result, we’ll have to continue with our (too) small old crop longer than was originally expected. So, we tend to think that very soon, prices may very well start to rise …

Quo vadis, potato market ?

To be honest : we haven’t got a clue. No one has.

 

08-02-2013

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This season, the quantity of potatoes in Europe should be historically small and many countries in Southern and Eastern Europe would have a huge need for imports. We don’t doubt these figures, but in December and January, we didn’t notice a lot of those possible shortages in the trade. Since our last market report, the demand for potatoes has been very poor. The cold wave of early January kept prices at the same level, but since then, the official ‘Belgapom’-quotation fell to 20,00 €/100 kg.

But also at these lower prices, demand doesn’t seem to revive. For the export market, Western Europa is simply too expensive. Only at prices below the market, a buyer can be found. The futures market for April 2013 fell back from 30 € to 22 € since December. And also the processing industry starts to feel the consequences of the high potato prices : fry sales outside Europe came to a standstill and stocks of finished products are piling up. For this reason, Belgium’s biggest processor will close down its 2 plants next week, a sign that the potato market may be living beyond its means.

It sounds contradictory but a fall in prices may very well do a lot of good to the potato market …

 

14-12-2012

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Due to the continuing adverse weather, not all potato fields were eventually lifted in Western Europe. The farmers who were hit now aim at lifting their potatoes in February and March of the next year, but this is more wishful thinking than rationality.  If we consider the not lifted fields as lost, total production falls per country of the EU-5 are more or less as follows :

  • France           :           - 17 %
  • Belgium         :           - 22 %
  • Netherlands   :           - 13 %
  • Germany       :           - 11 %
  • U.K.              :           - 30 %

 

Completely in line with these figures, we are taking note ourselves in our producers’ network that compared to previous years, a lot less potatoes are in store this season. Moreover, a considerable part of these stocks are under contract. The free-buy part of Western European stocks is historically low for December.

The official ‘Belgapom’-quotation has been around 23,50 €/100 kg for several weeks. Demand in the potato market has eased a bit for some time now and possibly, some players in the market may try and use this silence to get the market to a lower level. However, given the above stock figures, lower prices will most likely be simply ignored by potato producers and should not be expected before spring at the earliest.

 

09-11-2012

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The potato campaign 2012 has been difficult throughout the whole season :

  • A cold and wet spring
  • A much too wet month of July
  • A much too dry month of August
  • A very wet autumn right up to today

 

The continuing adverse weather affected growth all through the season and in the end slowed or prevented harvest. As a result, this year’s harvest in Western Europe is turning out to be below average and there are also a few quality problems. To this very day, the wet weather has been a cause of increasing concern in some countries because not all crops might be harvested in sound conditions for long-term storing. The heaviest and wettest land still remains to be lifted in the south west of Holland as well as in Flanders up to the Calais region. Dry weather is forecasted for the coming week, but the general opinion is that some 5 % of the potato land will remain lost. Also in the UK, there are fears that some potatoes will have to be abandoned.

Combined with reduced area and reduced production, it means that the EU-5 has one of its smallest potato harvests since long. The official ‘Belgapom’-quotation stands at 25 €/100 kg for 2 weeks in a row now and will most likely fluctuate between 20 € and 25 € all through this season. One or a few short-term 30 € peaks should not even be excluded, even when it means that this high potato price weakens the European processors’ competitiveness in favor of the US.

01-10-2012

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The figures for the new potato season are as good as set. Compared to 2011, there is a considerable fall in production in the EU-5 (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK) :

Acreage EU-5                      :           - 5,8 %

Yield/hectare EU-5             :           - 9,2 %

Total production EU-5        :           - 14,5 %

These figures can be regarded as final. Total production is smaller than the crop of the 2010/2011 season, the last expensive potato year. That this potato campaign will again be high-priced, is therefore a certainty, all the more true since :

- tubers this year are smaller, meaning that more raw material will be needed to produce the same amount of potato products

- the processing capacity of the West European industry since then expanded even more

- Great Britain will have huge import needs

Some even believe that for the first time in history, potato requirements of the EU-5 processing industry may exceed production !

After the long-awaited rain of last week, storage will step up the pace. The potato offer on the free market already starts to shrink and once everything is in store, potato farmers will not easily bring new offers onto the market. That the official Belgapom-quotation (which stands set at 15,00 €/100 kg for 6 weeks now) will go up in a very near future, is only a matter of time.

16-08-2012

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The new potato season continues to present itself as very promising. According to the latest figures, the acreage in the EU-5 (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK) would be down by some 5,5 %, compared to last year. Eye-catcher is Germany with a drop of 8 %. Solely the French potato farmer sticks more or less to the same number of hectares and planted only 2 % less.

The late planting date, the poor soil conditions, the (too) cold temperatures and the  little sunshine until the beginning of August and the sometimes poor quality of the seed will undoubtedly result in smaller yields than in previous years. Compared to 2011, the overall crop for the EU-5 is expected to fall by some 11 %. Per country, the estimated fall in total production would be as follows :

Germany                   :           - 10,5 %

UK                            :           - 14,5 %

Netherlands              :           - 7 %

Belgium                    :           - 15 %

France                      :           - 5 %

 

These figures are in sharp contrast with North America where the acreage increased by 5,5 % and where the total potato production is expected to be 8 % bigger.

The European potato producer expects – rightly – better than average prices in the next 10 months. The high expectations can already be seen on the futures market, where the ’April 2013’ contract exceeded 20 € this week. Also the current early potato market reaps its benefits from it. Since 27/07/2012, the official Belgapom-quotation gained almost 50 % in value (!) and was put at 12,50 €/100 kg last Friday

19-06-2012

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After the short improvement at the beginning of May, the potato market is back in the doldrums. On 15/06/2012, the official Belgapom-quotation was put at a depressing 2,50 €/100 kg. Given the still abundant stocks and the very poor demand, a new market improvement should not be expected.

On the other hand, the new season sounds quite promising. Spain reduced its acreage by 4%, the same figure goes for the UK. In Belgium, the area is down by 6%. In Poland, the acreage will shrink by 7%, which will give the country a record low harvest. Only in France does the acreage seem to stabilize.

Growing conditions have not been ideal either : late plantings, poor soil conditions, (too) cold temperatures and little sunshine in Western Europe, periods of heatwave in Central- and Eastern Europe … Top yields for the next season can already be excluded.

 

15-05-2012

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These last weeks, the potato market in Western Europe was predominantly determined by the weather. The cold and humid month of April changed the market circumstances completely : cold temperatures caused virtually no change in fields which are already planted ; abundant rain kept producers from resuming the planting.

For the processing industry, it means they’ll have to run one more month on old crop raw material. As a consequence, prices for processing potatoes picked up quite firmly. Compared to last month, the official Belgapom-quotation almost doubled and was put at 4,50 €/100 kg on 11/05/2012.

In normal years, plantings are finished by mid May. But end of last week, there still remained some 40 % of the main crop to be planted in Belgium ! Also in northern France and in Great Britain, delays of planting start to be considerable. Weather forecasts continue to predict unstable weather, it is therefore not at all excluded that we’re in for another old crop price increase.

11-04-2012

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On the European potato market, the processing industry and the export market are still not showing any interest to buy additional quantities. As we predicted in our last market report, the official Belgapom-quotation has gone further down to stabilize at 2,50 €/100 kg, a price level which – in our opinion – will be maintained in the weeks to come.

With the beautiful spring weather, plantings for next season run smoothly, meaning that the current season will not last any longer than normal.

Next season promises to be better, if the first ware potato planting estimates are true. In the Netherlands and Germany, an acreage decrease of ± 4 % is being expected, in Spain 2 %. In the East of the UK, the reduction of the ware area is said to go down by 5 to 8 %, this because of the current poor water reserves after the abnormally dry winter.

 

21-03-2012

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The European potato market remains seriously ill. Neither the industry, nor the export need to buy at present.

Against all expectations, February’s cold wave did not create any demand from Eastern Europe. And it gets worse : with the current spring weather, producers started preparing the land for next year’s potato campaign, meaning that the current season will most likely not last longer than normal.

What we feared and predicted at the end of February proved to be true : the potato price again has gone down a bit more. On 16/03/2012, the official Belgapom-quotation stood at no more than 2,75 €/100 kg. For this Friday (23/03/2012), we expect the quotation to be only 2,50 €/100 kg. Let’s look at it on the bright side : we can’t go down a lot more.

29-02-2012

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One month has passed and the potato market in Europe remains unchanged : quiet quiet quiet. Because of the continuing all but absent demand from processors and the export market, the official Belgapom-quotation has gone under the 4 € level. On 24/02/2012, it stood at a poor 3,75 €/100 kg.

Like every year in February, potato stocks were evaluated in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Compared to February of last year, stock figures are well up :

  • Netherlands :   + 10 %
  • Belgium :   + 20 % !!
  • France :   + 20 % !! 

 
The total stock surplus 2012 as regards 2011 for the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium is estimated to be a massive 1.000.000 tons. In Southern and Eastern Europe, similar assessments take place seldom or not at all, but we can assume that stock figures in these regions are in line with ours here in the West. We can hardly call these figures surprising, given the higher acreage and bumper crop 2011 and the latently absent demand.

And the story gets even more worrying : the stock surplus almost entirely consists of free-buy potatoes, i.e. which are still to be sold.

Back to our quotation : can it go down even more ? The answer is a clear YES !

31-01-2012

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Our fear of 2 weeks ago that the potato market might go down more, has become reality. The official Belgapom-quotation went down for the 3rd consecutive week and stood at 4,00 €/100 kg on 27/01/2012. Despite the lower price, we’re still singing the same old song : no demand from the processing industry, which runs solely on contracts and no demand for exports.

The current cold wave causes a market stabilization and – perhaps – in the short term an improvement of the demand. But we seriously have our doubts on whether it will also lead to a price improvement.

17-01-2012

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The Western European potato market continues to be quiet. Processors are still only running on contract supplies and are barely buying potatoes on the free market. For exports the same story : transactions are as good as non-existent. With all the informations we’re receiving as exporters ourselves, we seriously start to ask ourselves the question whether exports will ever start in this season.

After the price increase of December (an increase realized regardless of the fact that demand was almost zero), the market now seems to be stabilizing. The official Belgapom-quotation went down by 0,25 € and stood at 4,75 €/100 kg on 13/01/2012. Without an improvement of current demand, it cannot be excluded that the potato price will continue to go down. Only the better quality tubers for the fresh market will then be able to maintain their  price level.